R.C. Sproul’s most recent book, The Prayer of the Lord, arrived in the mail yesterday and looks very good. Early in the book, Sproul observes that the Lord’s prayer spells out the manner in which we are to pray, not the precise content:
He did not say, “Pray this.” Rather, He said, “In this manner, therefore, pray” (Matt. 6:9a). Jesus did not give His disciples a prayer they should slavishly repeat, though, as I noted above, repeating the prayer can be good and useful if it is handled correctly. Jesus’ intent was to give His disciples a model prayer, an example to follow, one that would teach them transferable principles for conversation with God.”
In the subsequent chapters, Sproul unpacks the Lord’s prayer section- by-section in roughly 10-page chapters (digestible in one sitting). The publisher’s review:
What is the Lord’s Prayer? In The Prayer of the Lord, Dr. R. C. Sproul writes, “Jesus’ intent was to give His disciples a model prayer, an example to follow, one that would teach them transferrable principles for conversation with God.” In short, Christ gave the Lord’s Prayer to teach His disciples about prayer, and Dr. Sproul, in his trademark fashion, brings out many of the truths Christ intended for His followers to learn. Readers will learn how not to pray, then will be led into a deeper understanding of such topics as the fatherhood of God, the kingdom of God, the will of God, the nature of sin and forgiveness, the dangers of temptation, and the cunning of Satan. The final chapter includes questions and answers on various aspects of prayer not covered elsewhere in the book, and the appendix addresses the difficult question of the relationship of God’s sovereignty and prayer. The Prayer of the Lord is an eye-opening journey, one that reveals new vistas in familiar terrain.
A subset of the endorsements:
R.C. Sproul has an amazing gift for explaining difficult truths in pithy, memorable, and easy-to-grasp ways. He is the ideal teacher for a study of the Lord’s Prayer, because the prayer itself is a profound lesson on a difficult subject, given by Jesus to His disciples in an amazing economy of words. You will be greatly blessed and edified by this book.
Dr. John MacArthur, Pastor/teacher
Grace Community Church
Sun Valley, California
Here is a very special book on prayer. It will not leave you overwhelmed with failure and crushed into “giving prayer yet another try”–as many books and sermons on prayer do. Instead, it will lead you gently by the hand–as Jesus did when He taught the disciples the prayer on which these pages are based. It will draw you into a sense of the privilege of prayer, stimulate new desires to pray, even leave you with a sense of the delights of prayer. These pages have an atmosphere of light and are permeated by a sense of freshness and joy. Happy indeed is the theologian who can stimulate prayer. And happy are we that R.C. Sproul has become such a theologian. The Prayer of the Lord is–quite simply– a spiritual treat.
Dr. Sinclair B. Ferguson
First Presbyterian Church
Columbia, South Carolina